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How to Clean a Keurig

Two Methods:General CleaningVinegar Soak

Cleaning your Keurig is a simple process and there are several ways to pull it off. One method is to give it a general cleaning that uses soap and dish detergent. It should be performed regularly. Another method, using vinegar, should be performed two to four times a year, depending on how often you use your machine. It's a great way to keep your coffee delicious.

Method 1
General Cleaning

  1. Image titled Clean a Keurig Step 1
    Disassemble the brewer. Open the cover of the brewer by lifting the handle and remove the K-Cup holder inside.
    • To remove the K-Cup holder, grab the top of the holder with one hand. Using your other hand, push up on the bottom of the K-cup assembly from below. The assembly should eventually release.
    • Use caution when removing the K-Cup holder. There are two sharp needles inside that could hurt you if you remove the assembly haphazardly.
    • The remaining pieces should disassemble with relative ease. Gently pull on the funnel until it separates from the K-Cup holder. Remove the drip tray by simply pulling it away from the base of the machine.
  2. Image titled Clean a Keurig Step 2
    Clean the K-Cup holder, funnel, drip plate, and drip tray. These elements are all dishwasher-safe.[1] Place them in the top rack of the dishwasher and run the machine on a standard wash setting using mild dish detergent.
    • To wash the K-Cup holder by hand, simply rinse it under warm to hot running water. Additional scrubbing or detergent is not necessary for general cleaning, but you should exercise caution to prevent yourself from getting stabbed by the sharp needle inside the holder.
    • If desired, you can also wash the funnel, drip plate, and drip tray by hand. Immerse these pieces in hot soapy water and scrub gently with a non-abrasive cloth. Rinse well to remove all soap residue.
    • Dry all pieces well. You can either allow them to air dry for several hours, or you can dry the pieces manually with a clean dish towel or paper towels.
  3. Image titled Clean a Keurig Step 3
    Clean the exit needle. The inside bottom and upper portions of the K-Cup holder both have exit needles with three holes. Remove any debris from these holes by inserting a paper clip into each one and working out anything inside.
    • Coffee ground and cocoa mix can easily get lodged in the exit needle, making this an important step in the cleaning process.
    • Insert a straightened paper clip or similar tool into each hole. You should be able to get it about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep into the tube. Wiggle and move it around to loosen and remove anything lodged inside.
    • Note that you cannot poke through the needle to the other side. The opening of the needle is located on the side of the K-Cup, not the top.
  4. Image titled Clean a Keurig Step 4
    Clean the water reservoir and removable lid. These pieces of the machine are not dishwasher safe and must be washed by hand using clean water and a non-abrasive cloth.
    • Avoid using cleansers or detergents on these elements. Using chemicals near the water reservoir can contaminate your water supply for future uses.
    • These elements should be wiped out thoroughly with a wet cloth and rinsed under warm to hot running water.
    • Dry thoroughly by allowing the components to air dry or by drying them manually with a clean dish towel or paper towel.
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    Wipe down the outside of the machine. Use a damp, non-abrasive cloth to wipe away any water stains or dried coffee grounds on the front of the brewer.
    • If desired, you could also use a soapy cloth for a more thoroughly cleaning. Just make sure to rinse the soap residue off the machine afterward with a clean damp cloth or under running water.
    • Never immerse the entire brewer in water.
  6. Image titled Clean a Keurig Step 6
    Reassemble the brewer. Snap the funnel back onto the K-Cup, and insert the K-Cup back into the machine.
    • Align the arrows on the top and bottom of the K-Cup with those marked on the machine. The two front tabs on the holder should should be on the bottom and the single tap on the front should be at the top. Push on the top rim to snap it back into place.
    • Reinsert the drip tray by sliding it back into place until it clicks.

Method 2
Vinegar Soak

  1. Image titled Clean a Keurig Step 7
    Run a vinegar rinse through the machine. Fill the water reservoir with undiluted vinegar. Brew the vinegar through the machine.
    • This process is also known as descaling and should be done every 3 to 6 months. Descaling the brewer removes excess grime sticking to the inside of the brewer. If left alone, this grime came have a serious negative impact on the brewer's ability to heat up and function properly.
    • Place a ceramic mug on the drip tray to catch the vinegar that brews through the machine.
    • Do not use a K-Cup while performing the vinegar rinse.
    • If using a mini model, fill the water reservoir with 10 oz (300 ml) of undiluted white vinegar. Lower the brewer handle after 5 seconds and press the blue "Brew" button. It should turn red and begin brewing the vinegar through the machine.
    • If using a standard-size model, pour 48 oz (1500 ml) into the water reservoir and press the "Brew" button. Allow the contents to brew into the mug below.
    • Discard the warm, dispensed vinegar by dumping it down the sink.
  2. Image titled Clean a Keurig Step 8
    Perform a second vinegar rinse. Repeat the initial vinegar rinse, but allow the vinegar to sit for a period of time in order to descale the machine more thoroughly.
    • Place the same ceramic mug used in the first vinegar rinse on the drip tray.
    • Do not use a K-Cup.
    • If using a mini model, lower the brewer handle 5 seconds after adding 10 oz (300 ml) of white vinegar to the water reservoir. Press the "Brew" button, and power the machine down once it starts to dispense the vinegar. Allow the rest of the vinegar to sit in the brewer for 30 minutes before powering it back on and pressing the "Brew" button to finish the brewing cycle. Discard the hot, dispensed vinegar by pouring it into the sink.
    • For standard-size models, add 48 oz (1500 ml) of white vinegar to the water reservoir and press the "Brew" button as usual. Once "Add Water" is indicated, pause the process and allow the vinegar to sit in the brewer for 4 hours while the machine is still on. Dump the remaining vinegar after this time.
  3. Image titled Clean a Keurig Step 9
    Follow with a fresh water rinse. Run clean water through a brewing cycle to rinse away any vinegar residue.
    • Place a ceramic mug in the drip tray to catch any dispensed water.
    • Do not add a K-Cup to the machine.
    • Fill the water reservoir with fresh, cold water. For mini models, use 10 oz (300 ml) of water. For standard-size models, use 48 oz (1500 ml) of water.
    • Press the "Brew" button and allow the brew cycle to run as usual. Discard the hot brewed water by pouring it down the sink afterward.
    • Repeat the cold water rinse up to three more times to remove any remaining vinegar taste.


  • Use distilled water whenever possible. Tap water has minerals in it that build up over time. If you use hard tap water, you will need to clean and descale your brewer more often.
  • Run a cleansing brew of water through your brewer after preparing a sticky drink like hot chocolate. This will sufficiently clean your brewer, preventing an excessive amount of sticky sugar crystals from caking onto the machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-abrasive cloth
  • Dishwasher
  • Paper clip
  • Vinegar (48 oz)
  • Ceramic mug
  • Distilled Water (48 oz)

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